'It will hurt for a long time' - Kane gutted after semi-final defeat

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Croatia have beaten England 2-1 in extra time to advance to the World Cup final with English skipper Harry Kane saying the loss will take a long time to digest.

England's World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia will hurt for a long time, skipper and top striker Harry Kane said after their 2-1 extra-time defeat on Wednesday.

"It's tough, we're gutted," he said. "We worked so hard, the fans were amazing, it was a tough game, a 50-50 game, when we look back we will think there's stuff we could have done better.

"We worked as hard as we could ... it hurts, it hurts a lot and it will hurt for a long time. We have had a fantastic journey, further than we thought," he added.

The victors had to come from behind after Kieran Trippier's fifth-minute free kick gave England the lead and led to Kane's men dominating the first half.

Croatia, in their first semi since 1998, levelled through Ivan Perisic after 68 minutes and then looked the more dangerous side.

It stayed level at 90 minutes, meaning Croatia faced extra time for the third successive game, having got past Denmark and Russia on penalties.

But just when it looked as if they would become the first team to appear in three shootouts at a single World Cup, Mario Mandzukic struck with a well-taken low shot in the 109th minute.

"We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep but we didn't get enough pressure on the ball. There are a lot of ifs and buts, in these games it's small margins," added Kane.

"It's hard to say (what went wrong). There's a lot we could have done better. They played well and made it difficult for us ... it's hard to put your finger of it."

England now meet Belgium in the third-place playoff on Saturday while Croatia take on France on Sunday for football's most precious prize.

Source: AAP

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